Courts

Texas Health Resources Seeks Dismissal of Ebola Nurse Pham's Lawsuit, Denies Negligence

Nina Pham does not deserve to go forward with her lawsuit against Texas Health Resources, the parent company of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the company says.

Pham became the first person to contract the Ebola virus in the United States last fall during her treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who came to the U.S. already infected with the disease and was treated at Presbyterian, where he died. In the early days of her treatment of Duncan, Pham claims, care for Duncan was largely improvised. A supervisor, according to Pham, Googled information in order to train Pham and some of her workers. Members of Duncan's care team, Pham said, were left to their own devices, even improvising a protected respirator.

See also: Ebola Nurse Nina Pham Says Texas Health Failed Her, Then Used Her for PR: Lawsuit

After she got Ebola, Pham claims Texas Health manipulated her to try to win the public relations battle it was losing. The famous video of Pham laughing with her treatment team shortly before being transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland? Mostly staged, Pham says.

In its response, Texas Health denies Pham's allegations of negligence out of hand. Because she was employed by Texas Health when she treated Duncan, the hospital says, the only compensation she's entitled to for any potential physical injury is workers' compensation.

Texas Health says it did not violate Pham's privacy, despite her claims that the hospital asked her to sign away rights to her personal information while at the same time writing in her medical records that she was incapable of making her own medical decisions.

Pham Response

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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